Mobile phone users in Africa - Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast has predicted that there would be 849,226,090 mobile users in the Middle East and Africa by 2017.
The prediction is coming just as Nigeria tops Middle East and Africa in the number of mobile phone users with at 110 million users according to the latest subscription statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
According to Cisco's prediction, the expected steady increase in mobile traffic was based on the continued strong growth in the number of mobile Internet connections (personal devices and machine-to-machine applications), which would exceed the world's population of 7.6 billion by 2017.
The study on mobile phone users' growth in the Middle East and Africa, revealed that traffic would grow 17 fold from 2013 to 2017, a compound annual growth of 77 per cent. 'In Middle East and Africa, mobile data traffic will reach 861,298 Terabytes (0.86 Exabytes) per month in 2017, the equivalent of
215 million DVDs each month or 2,374 million text messages each second,' the report said. It added that in Middle East and Africa, mobile data traffic would account for 17 per cent of Middle Eastern and African fixed and mobile data traffic in 2017, up from 8 per cent in 2012.
The report added that in Business Mobile Traffic 2012, Middle East and Africa's business mobile data traffic grew 69 per cent. Business will account for 12 per cent of Middle East and Africa's mobile data traffic in 2017, compared to 19 per cent at the end of 2012.
'Video in Middle East and Africa, mobile video traffic will grow 27 fold from 2013 to 2017, a compound annual growth rate of 93 per cent. Video will be 72 per cent of Middle East and Africa's mobile data traffic in 2017, compared to 47 per cent at the end of 2012,' the report said.
It added that in Middle East and Africa, consumer mobile traffic would grow 19 fold from 2013 to 2017, a compound annual growth rate of 80 per cent and that consumer would account for 88 per cent of
Middle East and Africa's mobile data traffic in 2017, compared to 81per cent at the end of 2012.
During the 2013 to 2017 forecast period, Cisco anticipates that global mobile data traffic will outpace global fixed data traffic by a factor of three.
On the impact of mobile devices connections, the report said smartphones, laptops, and tablets would drive 93 per cent of global mobile data traffic by 2017. It said in 2012, 14 per cent of all mobile-connected devices of one billion, were IPv6-capable, but that by 2017, there would be 41 per cent of all mobile connected devices of 4.2 billion that would be IPv6-enabled.
By Emma Okonji